After witnessing dry and cold weather conditions for the last 10 days, the Valley can finally get some respite from the freezing temperatures as the Meteorological Department has predicted a two-day wet spell in Jammu and Kashmir beginning Friday night.
As per the latest forecast issued by the MeT department, a spell of light to moderate snowfall at scattered to widespread places is likely to occur till Sunday.
“Expect a spell of light to moderate snowfall, scattered to widespread in plains of Kashmir, hilly areas of Jammu and rain with thunder in plains of Jammu during late Friday night till January 24 forenoon,” the MeT forecast said.
Director MeT Sonam Lotus said “a light snowfall will commence on Friday night from north Kashmir moving south eastward towards central and south Kashmir and Jammu region with main activity on Saturday”. “Weather will improve gradually from Sunday forenoon,” Lotus said, adding that “heavy snowfall at isolated places of Kashmir cannot be ruled out”. However, Lotus said “this spell of snowfall will be lower in terms of intensity and magnitude than the previous spell of January 4-5”.
In view of the Meteorological Department prediction for snowfall this weekend, the divisional administration has geared up its snow preparedness keeping its men and machinery ready, officials said. The administration had come under severe criticism for slow snow clearance after the Valley received a heavy spell of snowfall from January 3.
The cold wave conditions persisted in Kashmir even as minimum temperatures increased slightly on Thursday night. As per Meteorological department data, summer capital Srinagar recorded a low of minus 6.2 degrees Celsius on Thursday night. The minimum temperatures have consistently remained far below normal this season. Srinagar recorded the season’s coldest night last week at minus 8.4 degrees, making it the record lowest temperature in the last 29 years. The minimum temperatures continued to remain far below the normal in other parts of Kashmir. Qazigund recorded a low of minus 6.2 degrees while Kokernag recorded a low of minus 6.5 degrees and Kupwara recorded minus 4.8 degrees, the MeT data said.The skiing resort Gulmarg recorded minus 6 degrees.
Kashmir is in the middle Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day winter period which commenced on December 21. The period is considered the harshest of the winter when the chances of snowfall are maximum.